Best 120v Stick Welder Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

Stick welding is a welding process that is never restricted to a specific group of individuals. It does not matter if it is industrial or home welding applications, a stick welder will be of great importance. For instance, the best 120V stick welder will always be served for people who want one for their home use. However, due to versatility and popularity of welding processes, the stick welders are available in different sizes, shapes and prices.

After an extensive series of research and analysis, we did find the Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST as the overall best in the market. This stick welder is very lightweight and portable making it easy to move around with to location of work. It is also able to do TIG welding due to its high versatility.

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The Test Winner After 22 Hours Of Research:

HOW WE DECIDED

--We researched every product, we review with our own.

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Consumers Review

Product Image
Top Pick
Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp,Green
KICKINGHORSE A100 UL-Certified Arc Stick Welder 120V. DC 100A Highest Efficiency 40K...
Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H
2019 EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
Forney 291 Easy Weld 180 ST 120V/230 V Welder
Product Name
Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp,Green
KICKINGHORSE A100 UL-Certified Arc Stick Welder 120V. DC 100A Highest Efficiency 40K...
Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H
2019 EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
Forney 291 Easy Weld 180 ST 120V/230 V Welder
Rated Input Voltage
120 volts
110 volts
120 volts
240 volts
230 volts
Output Amperage[Amp]
90 amps
100 amps
75 amps
140 amps
-
Frequency[50hz/60hz]
50hz
60hz
50hz
50hz
60hz
Rated Duty Cycle (%)
30% @ 80 amps
30% @ 100 amps
20%@ 75amps
35% at 160 amps
30%@ 80 amps
Welding electrode[mm/inch]
1/8 inch
1/8 inch
1/8 inch
1/8 inch
1/8 inch
Welding Thickness[mm/inch]
5/16"
3/8”
3/8”
1/2"
1/2"
Installation Type
DC Stick/TIG Welder
TIG Stick Welder
DC stick welder
DC Stick/TIG Welder
DC Stick/TIG Welder
Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]
Iron, stainless steel
Mild Steel, cast iron, stainless steel, hard surfacing
Steel, Iron
Stainless Steel, Steel, Mild steel
Metal, Steel
Dimension
16.25 x 8 x 12.5 inches
11 x 8.5 x 8.4 inches
7.125 x 10.5 x 13.375 inches
20 x 12.5 x 13.5 inches
11 x 6.31 x 14.13 inches
Net Weight
13.74 pounds
7.26 pounds
15 pounds​
36.8 pounds​
23.3 pounds
Prime Status
-
-
Top Pick
Product Image
Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp,Green
Product Name
Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp,Green
Rated Input Voltage
120 volts
Output Amperage[Amp]
90 amps
Frequency[50hz/60hz]
50hz
Rated Duty Cycle (%)
30% @ 80 amps
Welding electrode[mm/inch]
1/8 inch
Welding Thickness[mm/inch]
5/16"
Installation Type
DC Stick/TIG Welder
Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]
Iron, stainless steel
Dimension
16.25 x 8 x 12.5 inches
Net Weight
13.74 pounds
Prime Status
Available
Product Image
KICKINGHORSE A100 UL-Certified Arc Stick Welder 120V. DC 100A Highest Efficiency 40K...
Product Name
KICKINGHORSE A100 UL-Certified Arc Stick Welder 120V. DC 100A Highest Efficiency 40K...
Rated Input Voltage
110 volts
Output Amperage[Amp]
100 amps
Frequency[50hz/60hz]
60hz
Rated Duty Cycle (%)
30% @ 100 amps
Welding electrode[mm/inch]
1/8 inch
Welding Thickness[mm/inch]
3/8”
Installation Type
TIG Stick Welder
Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]
Mild Steel, cast iron, stainless steel, hard surfacing
Dimension
11 x 8.5 x 8.4 inches
Net Weight
7.26 pounds
Prime Status
Available
Product Image
Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H
Product Name
Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H
Rated Input Voltage
120 volts
Output Amperage[Amp]
75 amps
Frequency[50hz/60hz]
50hz
Rated Duty Cycle (%)
20%@ 75amps
Welding electrode[mm/inch]
1/8 inch
Welding Thickness[mm/inch]
3/8”
Installation Type
DC stick welder
Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]
Steel, Iron
Dimension
7.125 x 10.5 x 13.375 inches
Net Weight
15 pounds​
Prime Status
-
Available
Product Image
2019 EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
Product Name
2019 EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
Rated Input Voltage
240 volts
Output Amperage[Amp]
140 amps
Frequency[50hz/60hz]
50hz
Rated Duty Cycle (%)
35% at 160 amps
Welding electrode[mm/inch]
1/8 inch
Welding Thickness[mm/inch]
1/2"
Installation Type
DC Stick/TIG Welder
Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]
Stainless Steel, Steel, Mild steel
Dimension
20 x 12.5 x 13.5 inches
Net Weight
36.8 pounds​
Prime Status
-
Available
Product Image
Forney 291 Easy Weld 180 ST 120V/230 V Welder
Product Name
Forney 291 Easy Weld 180 ST 120V/230 V Welder
Rated Input Voltage
230 volts
Output Amperage[Amp]
-
Frequency[50hz/60hz]
60hz
Rated Duty Cycle (%)
30%@ 80 amps
Welding electrode[mm/inch]
1/8 inch
Welding Thickness[mm/inch]
1/2"
Installation Type
DC Stick/TIG Welder
Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]
Metal, Steel
Dimension
11 x 6.31 x 14.13 inches
Net Weight
23.3 pounds
Prime Status
Available

01. Forney Easy Weld 298, 100ST Welder 120-Volt, 90-Amp

Salient Feature

  • Rated Input Voltage: 120 volts
  • Output Amperage[Amp]: 90 amps
  • Frequency[50hz/60hz]: 50hz
  • Rated Duty Cycle (%): 30% @ 80 amps
  • Welding electrode[mm/inch]: 1/8 inch
  • Welding Thickness[mm/inch]: 5/16"
  • Installation Type: DC Stick/TIG Welder
  • Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]: Iron, stainless steel
  • Dimension: 16.25 x 8 x 12.5 inches
  • Net Weight: 13.74 pounds

Forney is a well renowned firm that is popular for producing top quality welders for farmers and hobbyists. One of its top products is the Forney Easy Weld 298, 100ST Welder. This welder is made with a power system inverter. The welder is also compact and lightweight making it suitable for both home and farm use.

Flexible and Portable

With a weight of about 7.5 pounds, the Forney Easy Weld 298 making it amongst the most light in weight sticks currently available in the market. It also comes with a 6ft long electric cord which helps in ensuring that it provides one with the freedom of working from any location.

A TIG Welder

This welder is in a position of doing TIG welding due to its versatility. This feature makes it possible to be used in different projects or in welding different materials or metals of different thickness

Pros

  • Can also be used on TIG welding
  • Easy to switch from stick to TIG welding
  • Can weld both ferrous and nonferrous metals
  • Capable of welding metals of up to 5/16 inches in thickness

Cons

  • Lacks a gas hookup
  • TIG torch is separately sold

02. KICKINGHORSE 120V Arc Stick Welder

Salient Feature

  • Rated Input Voltage: 110 volts
  • Output Amperage[Amp]: 100 amps
  • Frequency[50hz/60hz]: 60hz
  • Rated Duty Cycle (%): 30% @ 100 amps
  • Welding electrode[mm/inch]: 1/8 inch
  • Welding Thickness[mm/inch]: 3/8”
  • Installation Type: TIG Stick Welder
  • Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]: Mild Steel, cast iron, stainless steel, hard surfacing
  • Dimension: 11 x 8.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Net Weight: 7.26 pounds

The KICKINGHORSE 120V Arc Stick Welder is a premium welder that is ideal for people who are after efficiency. This stick welder boasts of having one of the lowest weights in the list with a weight of just 10.8 lbs. It is possible to always haul this Kicking Horse around to any place you need it and carry out all your DIY projects.

Power

Rated 100A at 30% duty cycle, this stick welder is capable of burning 3/16 inch plate within a single pass. It is also possible to run 1/8 rod without any stress. This welder can effectively handle the E6013, E6011, E7014 or E7018 electrode that makes it suitable for cast iron, mild steel, stainless steel and hard surfacing.

Size

Weighing just 7.7 lb, this welder also comes with a heavy duty adjustable shoulder strap. This makes it very convenient to transport between job sites or you can also use it while moving. Its compact size helps it to also save precious space in the garage.

Safety

Over voltage, overheating and overload sensors are built in to help in addressing protection of entry level welders. This KICKINGHORSE 120V Arc Stick Welder is 100% safe for use in welding at home. It comes with an unbeatable 85V open circuit voltage which will allow A100 easy to strike the arc.

Pros

  • Great power saving capability
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Have low tech appearance connection points

03. Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H

Salient Feature

  • Rated Input Voltage: 120 volts
  • Output Amperage[Amp]: 75 amps
  • Frequency[50hz/60hz]: 50hz
  • Rated Duty Cycle (%): 20%@ 75amps
  • Welding electrode[mm/inch]: 1/8 inch
  • Welding Thickness[mm/inch]: 3/8”
  • Installation Type: DC stick welder
  • Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]: Steel, Iron
  • Dimension: 7.125 x 10.5 x 13.375 inches
  • Net Weight: 15 pounds

This Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H is another top welding machine that is suitable for different welding tasks.  Using this welder is very simple and its compact design and lightweight makes it quite portable. This makes it a perfect machine for both starters and experts.

Simple to Use

One of the reasons why Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H is loved by most starters is how simple it is to use. It has a very simple to use interface which makes it very easy to set the heat output and amperage. It also comes with a hot start technology which makes starting the rods easy and fast.

Very Versatile

This Stick Welder, Thunderbolt Series, 10-1/2 H comes fitted with a miller multi voltage plug. This makes it a dual voltage machine that is capable and can use either the 120V or the 240V power output.  This feature makes this welder able to be used on different projects.

Pros

  • Comes with a 6 ft. long power cable
  • Has a carrying bag
  • A very portable machine
  • Has a shoulder strap

Cons

  • Not able to weld aluminum
  • Is a stick and DC only machine

04. 2019 EVERLAST Power ARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder

Salient Feature

  • Rated Input Voltage: 240 volts
  • Output Amperage[Amp]: 140 amps
  • Frequency[50hz/60hz]: 50hz
  • Rated Duty Cycle (%): 35% at 160 amps
  • Welding electrode[mm/inch]: 1/8 inch
  • Welding Thickness[mm/inch]: 1/2"
  • Installation Type: DC Stick/TIG Welder
  • Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]: Stainless Steel, Steel, Mild steel
  • Dimension: 20 x 12.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Net Weight: 36.8 pounds

This EVERLAST Power ARC 160STH is a very popular welder that is well respected and widely used mainly due to the fact that it is a combination welder that helps offer one with the freedom to always switch back and forth between the ARC and the TIG.

Portable and Easy to Use

This EVERLAST Power ARC 160STH can be used anywhere. It comes with a shoulder strap and is very lightweight which makes it quite portable and easy to carry around and use it wherever you will be working. The option to run at 120V or at 220V it is possible to set up and weld within minutes from any place where there is power source.

Dual voltage

The 2019 EVERLAST Power ARC 160STH Stick Welder makes it great for experts as well as DIY. It has an adjustable power range which makes it a great welder for around mobile welding services, yard projects or a professional store work. It can easily perform all the tree tasks.

Pros

  • Has very low power consumption
  • Has a smooth and stable DC arc
  • Has a digital display for current settings
  • Comes with a complete stick and TIG welding package

Cons

  • It does not have AC output
  • Quite expensive 

05. Forney 291, 180 ST Easy Weld Welder

Salient Feature

  • Rated Input Voltage: 230 volts
  • Output Amperage[Amp]: 
  • Frequency[50hz/60hz]: 60hz
  • Rated Duty Cycle (%): 30%@ 80 amps
  • Welding electrode[mm/inch]: 1/8 inch
  • Welding Thickness[mm/inch]: 1/2"
  • Installation Type: DC Stick/TIG Welder
  • Welds Metal[steel, cast iron]: Metal, Steel
  • Dimension: 11 x 6.31 x 14.13 inches
  • Net Weight: 23.3 pounds

The Forney 291, 180 ST Easy Weld Welder is perfect for beginners. Despite not being that affordable it is worth the cost. It consists of features which are not available in most of the other stick welder.

Dual Voltage Capability

Dual voltage is one of the top features which are used in identifying the best 120 arc welder.  This stick welder is capable of using the 120V and the 230V power outlet.  This makes it possible to be used both at home and in any industrial setting.

Powerful Welder

Due to its dual voltage capability, there are huge expectations when it comes to power output. This stick welder never disappoints. It comes with an output ranging from 10 to 90 amps while using the 120v and has an output of 10 to 180 amps when using the 230V plug. This makes it possible on welding the ½ inch thick mild steel.

Pros

  • Comes with a handle and a cable wrap for easy storing
  • Can do both TIG and stick welding
  • Quite lightweight weighing a mere 14 pounds
  • It is all metal casing which makes it durable

Cons

  • It lacks welding rods
  • Not able to weld aluminum

What is an inverter stick welder?

Inverter stick welder refers to a relatively new and modern type of welder that comes with a good number of advantages when it is compared to the conventional welders that most people are used to. This inverter stick welder makes use of sophisticated silicon based technology when compared with the heavy aluminum or copper transformers together with the rectifiers that are always seen in most of the traditional welders.


The inverter stick welder will at first rectify the utility AC power to DC before it switches or inverts the DC power into a step down transformer. This ensures it is able to produce the right welding current or voltage.  The switching frequency of his inverter switch welder is approximately 10 kHz or higher.

How many amps does a stick welder use? 

A stick welder with 225 to 300 amps is capable of handling almost anything anyone can encounter. Majority of the stick welding procedures do require 200 amps or even less to weld materials which are thicker than 3/8 inches. However, you will have to weld multiple passes.

When you have a 220v inverter stick welder, it will be able to make about half the amperage which will be similar to the 110v welder. The 90 to 100 amps are quite common. It is possible to get much smaller and larger welders.  Investing in an air compressor will most likely take a lot less current maybe 20-30 amps.

How to set a stick welder?

Setting a stick welder is a fairly straightforward procedure. You need to remember that the polarity settings will always depend on the type of electrode you will be using. This means you have to be sure to counter check if it’s DC/AC/ -/DC+. In order to get started, you need to try some 6013 electrodes on the DCEN on some of the 3/16 inch steel plates.

  • Lay the first stick weld
Lay the first stick weld

When you have everything in place, it is now time to lay a weld. Ensure that the settings are right and ensure that you get a few pieces of scrap metal and put them down as a butt joint. Stick welding will always need some sort of skill hence it is always a good idea to first do some practice on scrap metal before you start trying to weld on the real project.

  • Strike the Arc
Strike the Arc

After the entire electrode is inside the electrode holder, you can now turn on the welder. In order to strike the arc, you have to place the electrode tip on the metal and drag it quickly across as if you are striking a match. Lift up the electrode if the arc is formed and thereafter you can also put in the metal.

When the arc cuts out, then there are chances you might have lift up the electrode too high from the surface. It needs to be a bit lower. After the arc is lit, it should produce a sound like that of frying bacon. When it sounds aggressive and loud, then you will have to turn the amperage down.

  • Move the electrode
Move the electrode

After you have lit the arc, you need to move the electrode through the joint for it to perform the weld. However, before moving the electrode, you need to ensure that you have it at the right angle that is between 15 and 30% to the vertical.

When you have it at the right angle, you will have to pull the electrode slowly towards you. Never push the electrode since the slag will easily get trapped in the pool weld and this can lead to porosity. It is advisable that you keep a steady hand hence; you can try resting your elbow on the table as you hold your hand which is holding the electrode. Consider carrying a few tests and troubleshoot by use of troubleshooting section at the end of post.

  • Other welding positions

In case you do fillet weld a T weld that is upside down, it is appropriate that you adjust the angle to approximately 35% from the horizontal. This is due to the weld starting to fall slightly because of the force of gravity when the angle is not adjusted helping push the bead backup.

The more the amount of slag that is created, the larger the angle you will need. In case your angle is too small, the slag will always fall into the weld pool and make weld defects.

How to choose the best 120 volt stick welder?

How To Choose The Best 120 Volt Stick Welder

The wide variety of 120 volt stick welders in the market needs one to have certain things to look at to help in narrowing down his options when shopping for one in the market. In this section, we will be looking at some of the important features you need to consider when shopping for the best 120 volt stick welder.

  • Is 120 volt available in your machine?

Before you settle on any stick welder machine, it is appropriate that you first check if it does have a 120 volt.  Not all the machines do have 120 volt. There are some which have an 110v. In case you are not sure on how you can check, always seek help from a professional to help you check if 120 volt is available in your stick welder machine.

  • Duty Cycle & Weld Capacity

Duty cycle basically refers to the amount of time you can weld before you allow the machine have some rest. The full cycle is usually 10 minutes. For instance, if you have a duty cycle of 30% at 160 amps, this means that the machine is in a position of running for 3.0 minutes before you consider giving it a rest of up to 6.5 minutes.

It is also important that you check on the weld capacity on the stick welder. Check on the amount of work the welder can handle within a particular period of time.

  • Avoiding unnecessary feature to reducing cost

Different 120 volt stick welders do come with different features.  In most cases, the machines with more features will always cost higher. However, depending on the time of work you will be doing, there are certain features which might not be of use to you. It does not make sense to purchase a stick welder with features that you will not be using. Only go for a machine with features that you will be using.

  • In case you need 110v in future?

Check if the 120 Volts stick welder you are about to purchase can be converted into 110 volt in the future if needs be. There are some 120 volt stick welders that you cannot convert to 110v when there is need. This might force you to purchase a 110v welder that might make you spend more.

  • Portability

One of the benefits that come with stick welders is its portability. With several welders working as freelancers, moving from one location to another needs to be easy and fast. It is therefore important for the welder to choose a stick welder that is very portable. Going for a stick welder that is not easily portable will give you lots of problem when you want to move.

  • Versatility

It is appropriate that you settle for a 120 volt stick welder capable of handling different projects and tasks. Do not spend your hard earned money on a welder which is not able to handle different projects or weld different materials. Going for a machine capable of handling different projects and welding different materials will save you from lots of stress.

  • Warranty and Price

Warranty is an important feature that you need to look at. Never settle for a machine that does not have warranty. Only go for a stick welder with a warranty period. Machines with short warranty periods are known to have higher chances of breaking down quickly when compared to stick welders that have longer warranty periods.

Warranty is always proportional directly with the price. Machines with longer warranty periods usually cost higher since they are made of quality materials and are durable enough. Machines with short warranty period normally cost less and are known to breakdown quickly. Ensure you settle for a stick welder you can confidently afford.

Conclusion

With stick welding being one of the oldest welding processes, most of the machines that were built earlier were quite bulky and difficult to use. This is the reason why expert welders were the ones who only owned these welding machines back in the days. Advancements in technology have made it possible to revolutionize stick welders to be easier to use and lighter.

We hope that this review guide has enabled you know the best 120v stick welder in the market. In case you have any question or suggestion, feel free to get in touch with us.

FAQ's


  • What is the best 110v stick welder?

There are several models and brands of 110v stick welders in the market. The best welder is capable of welding metals of different materials and of varying thickness. It should also do flawless welding for longer periods. The best example is Forney Easy Weld 271 110v MIG Welder

  • What is the best 120v MIG welder?

The best 120v MIG welder is one that is very portable and versatile. It can last for a long period of time as it is made of durable and top quality materials. One that really stands out in the market is the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder

  • What is the hardest metal to weld?

Aluminum is known to be a nightmare for welders. Aluminum is considered to be one of the difficult metals to weld since in its alloy or ore form, it does have different chemical and physical properties that one needs to understand well.

  • What type of welder should I buy for home use?

Mig welding is known to be one of the easiest types of welder to learn using. This welder produces clean welds that contain no slag and very less clean will be required. It is possible to use MIG welding on metals with different amount of thickness depending on the machine amperage.

  • Can you hold the electrode while stick welding

When you hold the electrode closely as you stick weld it can decrease the welding voltage. This can create an erraticarc which will distinguish itself or be in a position to cause electrode to freeze quickly producing a weld bead having a high crown.

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